The past two weeks sped by me in a blur of activity. It was all events and fun and concerts and house guests and running around doing stuff! And now I’m finally coming down off the cloud, settling back into life’s little routines, and able to decompress enough to share my complete, ginormous recap on the awesomeness that was my very first BlogHer conference.
It was amazing. That’s my three word summary. Blog Her 13 ROCKED. I’ve been to quite a few conferences, and this would rank in my top three ever. Here’s why, in photos!
1 – walking and co-hosting the runway at the 2nd annual BlogHer Fashion Show with my bestie Luvvie!
It’s not every day that you’re chosen to host the penultimate event at the biggest conference for women who blog. It’s not every day that you are the final look in a uniquely awesome fashion experience meant to celebrate the diverse and magical beauty of women. This happened. And I got to share it all with my bestie, my ace, my road dog for life, Luvvie. Here we are looking like yin and yang.
Darlene Gillard of the Gillard Jones Agency styled our looks, and the team was so on point and professional!
I wore AMAZING dresses by Monif C – I rocked the June Grecian draped dress in white, and this sold-out black and white showstopper was the show’s final look.
Our makeup was by ULTA and jewelry and accessories came via Giftbar. Additional items came via Cinnamon Boutique, Lori’s Shoes, and Joanna Laura and I wore shockingly comfortable shapewear by Cacique (I was sleeping on their Shape by Cacique brand, it is amazing)!
I mean. I was FEELING myself in this dress! Thanks to Our Ordinary Life for the photo!
The theme of the fashion show was Half Woman, Half Amazing. And each of us brought fresh perspective and beautiful diversity to the runway.
I strutted my stuff alongside some of the best bloggers around! Here I am with Luvvie, Ashley Nicole Catherine, Cristi Comes of Motherhood Unadorned, Elaine Griffin, Grace Hwang Lynch AKA Hapa Mama, Kailynn of Ginger Sass, Isra Hashmi – the beauty behind The Frugalette, Jillee of One Good Thing, total sweetheart Kareisha Questel, Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress, my boo Lianne Farbes AKA The Makeup Girl, Lizz Porter of Am I a Funny Girl, Meseidy River of The Noshery, the hilarious Natasha Nicholes at Houseful of Nicholes, and Vikki Reich of Up Popped a Fox. We came to slay and we did the damn thang!
2 – cohosting the official BlogHer fashion show afterparty.
So, little known fact – I can be shy. I definitely steer more towards being an introvert, and going to parties used to freak me out when I was a teenager. So now that I find myself being hired to be a party host, it’s all kind of full circle and sweetly ironic. I cohost a party by going around to everybody there to introduce myself and chat and make sure everyone’s having fun. I made so many new friends during the party, and over and over again I got love for my fashion show appearance and for my panel. AND some of my besties who weren’t at the conference came out to show love! Here’s Luvvie, Renisha of Renewed Fitness and Aramide AKA The Sassy Peach. My Chicago team!
SO. AWESOME. I had a blast at the fashion show afterparty. Thanks to ULTA for being such amazing sponsors!
3 – Seeing SO many of my favorite bloggers and closest online friends.
The nature of blogging is solitary. We may communicate online and know each other via social media, but meeting in person and bonding with each other happens rarely. This is even more true for my blogger friends who live in other cities, or who have kids or obligations that make it tough for them to travel often. BlogHer brought out SO many friends who I haven’t seen in FOREVER.
To wit: here are Luvvie and I with Kelly Wickham AKA MochaMomma, one of my favorite people! And Nicole Blades, AKA Ms. Mary Mack. Kelly and Nicole are amazing women who live in other states, and we see each other in person far too infrequently. It was so good to sit and spend time with them!
So many friends from all over the place! So awesome to see everyone!
4 – Catching up with one of my favorite people, Adria Richards.
Speaking of old friends, I had to give a special shout-out to my amazing, strong, inspiring friend Adria Richards. She’s been through the fire and she came to BlogHer to share her story and what she’s learned. It was SO great to see Adria back in her element. She let me try on her Google Glass (three word review = weird, cool, futuristic).
Adria’s awesome. It was so great seeing her again!
5 – Meeting Majora Carter.
Majora Carter is a woman I’ve been looking up to for her incredible accomplishments for a long time now. When I prepared to give my TEDx talk, I watched hers. Hers is one of the best.
Besides being a huge inspiration, Majora is also friends with some of my very close friends – like Digital Undivided creator Kathryn Finney. I’d heard about how down to earth and fun she was before, but meeting her was an absolute joy. She came to the fashion show afterparty, and we learned to do The Wobble together, almost. Majora is super awesome people and I hope to see her again at Focus 100 in NYC this October!
6 – Rocking the first ever Style Mini-Con!
When BlogHer mentioned the idea of a Style Mini-Con to me, I was excited but apprehensive. There are many stylish women within the BlogHer network, of course – but the predominant number of beauty and fashion bloggers I know aren’t necessarily guaranteed to be there. Also, with the number of other amazing panels and talks happening at the same time as our mini-con, I was concerned about attendance. Well, I had NOTHING to worry about. We rocked it!
That’s Marcus Troy, Gabifresh, Ma Nouvelle Mode and yours truly. Our panel on The Business of Blogging went really well, and I got such great response via Twitter. So so happy for how it all worked out!
7 – Prizes and awesome swag.
BlogHer’s expo hall was an experience in itself. I expected to walk in and make some new connections, get my official BlogHer bag, and leave. I didn’t expect to walk in and win PRIZES. That never happens to me! I wound up winning a Keurig from the Folgers booth, and a Samsung Galaxy 4 at the Samsung booth, which was totally the booth to beat. Everyone was lined up at the Samsung booth to make these amazing customized Samsung cases that were exclusive to BlogHer.
SO cool, right?? I made Galaxy 3 case. And that same day I won the Galaxy 4. So funny! I’m loving the new phone (sans customized case) and I’ll be blogging about it soon. Cause it rocks.
8 – Learning SO much from my fellow bloggers.
I spent most of my time at BlogHer 13 mingling, hanging out, and kicking it. But in the midst of all of that, I learned a lot from being around so many inspiring women. I may use the word inspiring quite a few times here, because that’s truly the best word for what the experience was as a whole. It’s inspiring to be around so many who know your pain and GET IT. It’s inspiring to share ideas with others and get immediate feedback because they too have been there and know how it feels. It’s so inspiring to see the leaps and bounds women bloggers have made, and are continuing to make. BlogHer 13 made me recognize that I am part of a big, beautiful, amazing, incredible MOVEMENT. And it isn’t a movement that has peaked or plateaued. It’s something that’s growing and changing and evolving. And inspiring.
So proud and happy to have been a part.
Thank you Elisa, Lisa, Lori, Stacy, and everyone at BlogHer who brought me on board for this year. I had a blast!